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Naveen responded to my post "Cannabis and the Adolescent Brain" with some very interesting insights. Here's my response.

Naveen: Overall I agree with your concern about cannabis use and the adolescent psyche and I made mention of that issue in a chapter in the book on cautions and obstacles with cannabis use. I've quoted part of that section as follows:

"Whether or not there’s any basis for concerns around brain development in the young, I suspect a more substantive concern is the vulnerability and developing sense of self that’s such a central aspect of adolescence. How many of us remember the emotional difficulties of those years? A lot of people are just glad to have survived adolescence. We’re sensitive, passionate, doubtful—struggling to find an identity and a direction at that stage of our lives.

According to a 2012 survey of students in grades nine to twelve in the United States, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, 16 percent had seriously considered suicide and 8 percent had attempted it. The amplification and mirroring qualities of cannabis suggest that under its influence, dark, distressing thoughts and feelings may be exaggerated."

Now some food for thought. In general I also agree with you Naveen about the need for "domesticating" infants and young children. But as my old Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa put it, until we're awakened we are all engaged in "mutual group imprisonment." We unconsciously try to control others and keep them at our level, our young ones in particular (since we can.) There's a hidden part of (most of) us—the ego in Buddhist terms—that knows we're playing games with God so to speak and can't bear having our game mirrored back to us. If we can't control someone who is more awake and real than we are, we will tend to avoid that person, or at the very least blind ourselves to who they really are. Like attracts like as they say.

In other words, I think there's just a little too much domesticating going on in general. I guess the trick as a parent is to find some sort of healthy balance that allows the child to navigate the social world without losing its "real" self and the unconditioned intelligence of that.

And of course those of us who have the opportunity to do so, need to free ourselves from our bindings. As I and other contributors to the book keep saying, cannabis can help when we know how to get out of the way as it were and channel the amplified energy into deeper, clearer, more expansive, more connected states and traits.

"Look past your thoughts so you may drink the pure nectar of this moment." - Rumi



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 22-Jul-17 17:42 by Stephen Gray.

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Cannabis and the Adolescent Psyche 824 Stephen Gray 21-Jul-17 23:41


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